Coronavirus surge prompts Apple to urge retail employees to work remotely: Report

Company will reportedly send coronavirus test kits to corporate, retail employees working at home

Apple is urging its retail employees to work remotely following a recent surge in coronavirus cases that has forced the company to re-close 77 of its 271 U.S. locations, according to a report by Bloomberg.

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“If your store is closed, please sign up for Retail at Home, please talk to your manager, because we really need to make sure that we shift our teams to greet our customers remotely in this time,” Apple’s senior vice president of retail and people, Deirdre O’Brien, reportedly told staff in a video message. “We may need to be working remotely for some period of time.”

A spokesperson for Apple did not immediately return FOX Business's request for comment on the report.

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O'Brien added that the move will help accommodate customers who are experiencing "significant wait times" while shopping online.

“This is not the experience that we want to have for our customers,” O’Brien added. “So we really want to make sure that we are moving to where our customers are, to help them during this very challenging time. As you know people are really dependent upon their devices, especially right now.”

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In addition, the company will reportedly send coronavirus test kits to the homes of their retail and corporate employees.

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In a memo to staff last month that was obtained by the outlet, Apple executives said that they "currently do not anticipate a full return before the end of the year” for employees in the United States, but that it does “anticipate full resumption will take place during the coming months based on local conditions” for many offices in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe.

The company began bringing staff back to its main offices in phases starting in mid-June, according to Bloomberg. The first phase included employees who cannot effectively do their jobs from home, such as those working on future hardware products.

The company will "begin to welcome back team members who prefer to work from the office or those with projects that require them to be in the office, while continuing to significantly limit total occupancy,” according to Apple's memo.

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